Plymouth aims to cut number of suicides in the city as 23 a year take own life
WORK has started to find ways to cut the number of suicides in Plymouth.
On average, 23 people aged 15 and over kill themselves every year in the city, according to the South West Public Health Observatory.
In its latest report, published a year ago, the observatory said suicide rates in the South West had increased since 2007, with an average of 460 suicides and undetermined deaths a year.
Hospital admissions for self-harm have also increased, with the South West experiencing a 73 per cent rise between 2002/03 and 2008/09 – the second highest in England.
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Those most at risk of suicide are men aged 35-44 and 85 and over, and there is a clear link with deprivation.
The fastest rise in rates of self-harm is among girls and young women aged 15-24, but five per cent of admissions are people aged 65 and over.
Public health agencies and voluntary groups met this week in response to government moves to give local authorities new responsibilities for improving public health.
The development of a suicide prevention strategy is being led by the Plymouth Public Health Department in partnership with Plymouth Guild.
Local responsibility for coordinating and implementing work on suicide prevention will become an integral part of local authorities’ work from April next year. 2013.
The meeting in Devonport Guildhall on Thursday 29th November, was attended by participants from a broad range of local public, private and voluntary sector organisations.
Speakers included Claire Hill from Plymouth Guild, Cllr Sue McDonald, the city’s Cabinet member for adult social care, and Prof Deb Lapthorne, director of public health for Plymouth.
The event aimed to set up a local steering group and network for suicide prevention.